European Union Foreign Policy chief Joseph Borrell on Monday engaged in conversations with Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin on ways of maintaining security at the Tajik-Afghan borders. Speaking at the 17th EU-Central Asia Ministerial meeting, the top diplomats discussed Tajikistan's concern over the threat of extremism and organised crime fuelled by drug and weapon trafficking along the Afghan-Tajik borders, Sputnik reported. Stressing the importance of the EU's commitment to helping reinforce Tajik frontiers, Borell said that Afghanistan territory must be prevented from being used as a base for hosting, financing, or exporting terrorism to other countries.
"During the talks, much attention was paid to the issues of security and stability of the borders of Tajikistan and the situation in Afghanistan," the Tajik Ministry said in a statement, as quoted by Sputnik.
A joint statement released by the European External Action Service (EEAS) stated that the diplomats also emphasised the importance of expanding cooperation in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. "The participants acknowledged the need for strengthening cooperation on preventing the unsafe and irregular movements of people and countering migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings," the statement added. Acknowledging the need for strengthening cooperation, the diplomats called for promotion and respect of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, in particular of women and girls, children and minorities.
Resilience, prosperity & supporting regional cooperation - these are the priorities set out in the EU-Central Asia Strategy, which remain today more relevant than ever to guide our regional engagement for post-pandemic recovery.— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) November 22, 2021
Good to jointly discuss their implementation today pic.twitter.com/cVtSFsw1oy
The participating diplomats also agreed that a comprehensive and inclusive government was necessary to establishing lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Additionally, they also called for an urgent ceasefire in Panjshir province to guarantee humanitarian access to the valley's population.
The diplomats at the EU-Central Asian meet looked forward to intensifying cooperation in security and border management. They also agreed to bolster the fight against terrorism, transnational organised crime, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, trafficking of small arms and light weapons, and cyber threats. Underlining the key role of science and technology in accelerating economic diversification, the diplomats also welcomed cooperation in education, vocational, training, and skill development. The EU and Central Asian participants further recognised the value of international research and cooperation between two regions, with a proposal to the EU for launching a new regional program for Central Asia on science, technology and innovation.